I felt it coming for a long time.
In September I was
and by December my insides began to
bend and contort, making my
very existence nauseating to
In January I was stuck in a ten
while the rest of the world
continued, thank god they did not
Sometimes that month I would
go to class.
I’d bike there with my fiddle
across my back,
feeling the sometimes hot humid air
and sometimes the damp cold air
and fighting the cars on the road.
At night the fear would get to me
I’d fill my lungs with smoke
write about time traveling
make the sounds of the oceans
on my guitar.
In February it happened, I and knew it was coming
and it felt so good and terrifying.
It was a shatter, a sudden drop,
quiet as it gets,
heavy as an anchor; I would have
sunk had it not been for the
hot air balloon in my lungs, it was
a three hundred dollar one way
plane ticket to a place just
three hours shy of Vancouver,
it was mountains and cities
and oceans all within sight.
Now it is March and I am noticing
pain of getting older
and having moths in
my stomach at the thought of growing up.
I feel it right above my liver,
I see the air move and quiver.
I’m doing irresponsible things responsibly.
I don’t know who I am but
I think I know how to get there.
Learning stuff by doing silly stuff.
So my parents are taking care of a baby squirrel and I’m kinda falling in love.
What is art?
Holidays stroll by and
I hardly glance back anymore.
Days like Christmas and Valentines
Mardi Gras and birthdays
used to be the shining days of
my life, the ones that separate
it all into neat little chunks.
I suppose I just feel disenchanted.
Every night as I light a bowl
I become aware of myself and
what I’m doing—and not doing—
And what a sight,
I honestly wouldn’t have
it any other way, me in the
bathroom, just getting
home from camping,
wearing ragged skinny
black jeans and a brown flannel
shirt and my hair smelling of beer
staring at myself in the mirror
as I lose myself to the drugs,
my roommate working on art
blaring lofi bands no one knows
about, I haven’t been twenty
for long but god how I feel
so much older.
That’s a very old question with many, many answers, and something philosophers have been pondering when thinking about eschatology gets too depressing.
I’ve done no research into this question, but I may have an answer ( that will need much further expounding on in the future).
Art is the physical catharsis of inner demons and curiosity through a medium (music, paint, dance, etc.)
This idea came to me while looking through old journals that I kept in high-school. I was fighting intense depression through that time while also experiencing a sort of renaissance of my artistic abilities. I was a mess—insecure, relying on my girlfriend at the time for happiness, doing poorly in school and having a very rocky relationship with my parents while working at shitty jobs (the story of every seventeen year old, right?)
Being an artist and creating art are symptoms of a deeper condition—in my case at least, it was, and is, escape, a goal for me to pursue to get away from my madness.
Interestingly enough, you can take those negative things out and still have that condition. I’m not depressed anymore, or insecure, and I’m quite happy with my life, if perpetually unsatisfied with it. Those feelings though—I call them demons, any irrational, biting feelings—still push me to create art. Like I said, art is the physical manifestation/symptoms of a deeper underlying condition.
I still have a lot to work with this idea, but it’s a start, what do you think?
Black Dots and White Crucifixes
A list of my bands completed songs, circa January 2010.
The sky was breaking into
little black dots that grew bigger
by the second, dropped by white
crucifixes near the edge of the
When the dots collided with the ground,
collided with the people and
collided with the buildings
a flash appeared and suddenly
those things were not there
I held onto Eureka as
if she was the last person
on Temecula, watching the
city of Seele give in to the
falling black dots and the
flying white crucifixes.
On a cold mountain
half doused in gasoline
and burning, wordless and sunken,
they turned around
and for once I wished
I could time travel
and bend light and manipulate
gravity so there would
be no more flashes and
no more bombs.
We are very much
physical things, material
things, flehsy things with thoughts,
not mind or soul but matter, dirt
and chemicals and water
mixed together making something
And when we break
that’s it—were long gone,
we were just here for a
quick visit, just to say hello,
just to wave goodbye at
the same time.
Leaving the mountain,
leaving this country,
I’m going to die
but I’m not going to die
It’s sorta funny that I can write well but not write well, ya know?
Thirty six hours away.
As easy to comprehend
as my hastily crippled one-eyed
That far away.
Now that your hair color is normal
you don’t know what people
first notice about you.
I drove nine hours in one direction once.
Searching for something, searching for you,
instead I got lost and enjoyed every
second of it.
You, to me you’re
Smoke sold in a bottle.
Tea that taste like campfires.
Smoke carried across the ocean
in a soft breeze.
Liquid smoke. Smoke
to put in my coffee and to wash my skin.
Smoked caused by fire turning
the carbon in the air into diamonds
before burning up into nothing once more.
Smoke like the texture of your skin.
Pale and cold from
this Seattle mist.
You say my body is warm
but truth is I’m a skeleton.
I’m the cold air I breathe,
in the sun I move like a
reptile, cold blooded
and sleepy without it.
You were my heat rock.
Burning coals in my abdomen,
I can feel it in my liver and the
heat creeps into my lungs
and I gasp after you breathe into
me, lips sending electric eels down
I feel alive, I feel as though
your back is a road map for
my fingers, I trace the lines
valleys, in the north you’re
a mountain in the Mediterranean
and as my hand ventures to the south
I find the swamp warm and wet
and altogether different than anything
that I know.
And so maybe that thirty six hours
is worth it. Maybe it’s worth
traveling the two thousand and
five hundred and thirty two miles away
to see you.
Maybe I won’t regret saying
good bye to the people
I once knew, if only
I could mange to find you.